Central nervous system appears to be much improved!

This afternoon, Anita and I are off to appear on TV in order to talk about our upcoming website, Soberistas.com, which we are launching in November 2012. I have never been on TV before (except for when I sat in the audience of Light Lunch with Mel and Sue somewhere in the 1990’s when I was a student, clearly armed with sufficient free time to allow me to while away my afternoons watching Anne Robinson, Mike Flowers and the Krankies in a studio near Waterloo) and so I would have expected the nerves to kick in a little by now. Not so, which is interesting, when you consider that back in my drinking days I was a bag of nerves.

Image – theglaswegian.co.uk

I’m not simply talking about feeling anxious when an event was approaching which would cause most people to suffer an attack of the jitters to a degree (exams, driving test, etc) – I am talking about the necessity of talking to a bus driver in order to pay my fare, or sitting in the passenger seat of a car and clinging to the seat in terror despite travelling at approximately two miles an hour in heavy traffic, or walking in to a packed cinema and being convinced that all eyes were on me (and not for any positive reasons).

In my drinking days I was, quite simply, a bag of nerves. Alcohol depresses the central nervous system, increases heart rate, causes a drop in blood sugar levels, induces dehydration, as well as affecting mood due to a drop in serotonin. I had an inkling that alcohol might be behind those terrible ‘days after the night before’ when I suffered palpitations, paranoia, depression, anxiety, and heightened fear over what should be everyday situations, but I always put it down to my personality. As I was in a state of denial for many years regarding the seriousness of my binge drinking, I managed to convince myself that I was just a nervy person, and I needed cigarettes and booze just to get me through this tricky business we call life.

How nice it is then, to be preparing for our appearance on Calendar without feeling as though my heart were about to burst out of my chest, or that I’m going to throw my guts up, faint or die of fear. This is my personality, not that overwrought wreck who wanted to hide away from life’s challenges (and from anything that involved a little more human interaction than watching Ice Road Truckers/Come Dine With Me/Jeremy Kyle from my settee, whilst counting down the hours until it was acceptable to have another glass of wine). What a relief!

4 thoughts on “Central nervous system appears to be much improved!

  1. louise says:

    This sounds just like me, nerves and social phobia whereby I needed alcohol for most group situations. I am only 5 days sober today and its hard going but starting to see a few things I couldn’t possibly before.

  2. Hi Louise, thanks for getting in touch. Well done for starting your journey – it takes a lot of guts to begin sorting stuff out, but I promise you that giving up alcohol for good is the best decision I have ever made. Have you read Jason Vale’s book, ‘Kick the Drink…Easily!’? It really helped me (so much so that I wrote a post all about it on this blog!) get my head around what a trap I had found myself in.
    The last panic attack I had was a night after I had drunk loads, and I thought I was having a heart attack due to the severity of the palpitations. I used to experience that a lot, feeling like I couldn’t breathe properly, and I really thought it was just the way I was. Since becoming teetotal, I have never felt that way, and just have tonnes of energy, and no longer suffer from anxiety – I hope you stick with it and feel the benefit soon. It is so worth it.
    Good luck, Lucy x

  3. Nicole says:

    Just wanted to leave another note to tell you that your blog is helping me so much. Everything you write resonates with me and makes me feel, well…not so crazy and alone. Alcohol is a powerful drug and society sets us up to feel weak if we can’t ‘handle’ it. I too have had so many of the same symptoms and I always told myself this was just my personality and drinking helped alleviate some of these syptoms. Oh the lies our addicted brains tell us!
    I replaced alcohol with hot yoga 25 days ago and I’m lost seven pounds and eight inches! This wasn’t my goal, but I’ll take it. More importantly, I’m regaining my energy and creativity. I never realized how much of a slave I really was. I no longer have to organize my life around when/how I can get my next socially acceptable drink. (I knew it was bad when I was wanting to start bringing mimosas and such to my town’s morning holiday parades.)
    I’m two-thirds through Jason Vale’s book now and it is saving me! I know my journey has just begun but I’m so happy and excited…I feel like such a better mom to my three little ones already.
    Looking forward to your website! Now on to read more of your entries…

    • Hi Nicole

      Thanks again for your message, which I am sure many others will find inspirational. It sounds like you have definitely had those horrible alcohol blinkers removed once and for all, I’m so happy for you! I lived my whole existence as a slave to booze, and I never realised how much it controlled me until I became teetotal. You can feel as though you are mad when you first begin to question your alcohol intake, because we live in a society that accepts alcohol so widely as the norm – even getting drunk is often considered to be funny, a good laugh. It is bizarre how, as someone in the minority (i.e. teetotal) you are made to feel a little odd for not drinking, when really it is us that have come to recognise what a massive con the whole alcohol trap is!
      Keep in touch, and I hope to see you on our website next month – it’s all about women empowering each other to get out of this awful trap, as you have already managed to do. Well done, and thanks for sharing. Lucy x

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